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One over sized milk crate
one inverter
one charger
one switch for which battery to inverter
one switch for which battery to charge.
A couple breakers to protect stuff.
one USB/lighter panel
one connector to start battery

I only have one 100ah battery and only a 500w inverter but more would fit. I can run off internal battery or the start battery. I can use the start battery and inverter to charge the house battery while driving.
about $350
 

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Hybrid Lead Acid as built by Coachmen and Lithium added by me. Lead Acid because it's already there and can survive the cold, and lithium because it charges faster and discharges deeper.

It's more complex that if I started from scratch, mostly because of my reluctance to change to much of the Coachmen stuff while still under warranty.

Overview:

130657


Detailed - as built:
130658
 

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Looking for some ideas for my house electrical system in my van. If you have photos of your electrical system and mind sharing that would be great!
There are tons of discussions here about anything and everything you ever wanted to know about electrical systems and designs with pics included. It just takes some time to dig though and find them all.

What all accessories are you planning on putting in the van? Are you doing solar?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for responding to my post. BobATX that is an ideal set up that I am considering. Ideally I would like something that is movable. I plan to have my electrical system built into a box or something similar and have it nest just behind the 2nd row bench seat.

I have seen a slew of diagrams which are proving to be the best route to go in finding how my system will be.

Atonie, I appreciate your diagram as I have used some other useful links on your site.

I don't plan to run any solar as of right now so I will be running off either my alternator or battery to my house battery. Most likely my battery. In short, I plan to have my Dometic CFX 75 cooler/fridge running most if not all the time. I plan to run some puck lights in the headliner (6 lights in all), Maxx Air Fan, Laptops, phones and the like and the occasional Instant Pot meal.


Correct me if I am wrong here as for amp hours and useage.
Amp Hours/IntsantAmp Hours Daily
MaxxAir Fan4.5AH12AH- Summer Use
Dometic CFX 752-3AH 14.61 amps consumed over a 24 hour period.
Device Charging2-5AH
Instnat Pot 5-minute steamer cycle used 9.59 amp hours
30-minute pressure cooking cycle used 16.9 amp hours
A 4-hour slow cooker cycle used 24.5 amp hours
Interior Lights/Acegoo Recessed LED Lights 1-2AH

While everything is going to vary depending on conditions and how the day looks I want to plan accordingly and have the ability to run everything without an issue for a weekend/long weekend if needed.

Trying to decide between and AGM battery bank set up or Lithium set up. I know LI is going to prove to be a bit more sustainable in the end and is going to take less weigh but costs a bit more. Should I go with 2 100 AGM batteries or?? I plan to get a 1000W Pure Sine Inverter, is this big enough? Or should I go bigger? As well as the fuses box and circuit breakers, wiring and ect.

My main concern is making sure I have enough AH and power in a day and not needing to start or run the van to charge any batteries daily.

Any advice is appreciated!

As daunting as the electrical system can be I have found it to be pretty fun figuring out.
 

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Some ideas in link below: Have had the same system for 10 years in two different vans. Having 120 volt AC available with the engine running has worked very well. Best to always charge your house battery with a 3 stage charge for long battery life. Battery in sold Sprinter lasted 9 years.

 

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Thanks for responding to my post. BobATX that is an ideal set up that I am considering. Ideally I would like something that is movable. I plan to have my electrical system built into a box or something similar and have it nest just behind the 2nd row bench seat.

I have seen a slew of diagrams which are proving to be the best route to go in finding how my system will be.

Atonie, I appreciate your diagram as I have used some other useful links on your site.

I don't plan to run any solar as of right now so I will be running off either my alternator or battery to my house battery. Most likely my battery. In short, I plan to have my Dometic CFX 75 cooler/fridge running most if not all the time. I plan to run some puck lights in the headliner (6 lights in all), Maxx Air Fan, Laptops, phones and the like and the occasional Instant Pot meal.


Correct me if I am wrong here as for amp hours and useage.
Amp Hours/IntsantAmp Hours Daily
MaxxAir Fan4.5AH12AH- Summer Use
Dometic CFX 752-3AH14.61 amps consumed over a 24 hour period.
Device Charging2-5AH
Instnat Pot5-minute steamer cycle used 9.59 amp hours
30-minute pressure cooking cycle used 16.9 amp hours
A 4-hour slow cooker cycle used 24.5 amp hours
Interior Lights/Acegoo Recessed LED Lights1-2AH

While everything is going to vary depending on conditions and how the day looks I want to plan accordingly and have the ability to run everything without an issue for a weekend/long weekend if needed.

Trying to decide between and AGM battery bank set up or Lithium set up. I know LI is going to prove to be a bit more sustainable in the end and is going to take less weigh but costs a bit more. Should I go with 2 100 AGM batteries or?? I plan to get a 1000W Pure Sine Inverter, is this big enough? Or should I go bigger? As well as the fuses box and circuit breakers, wiring and ect.

My main concern is making sure I have enough AH and power in a day and not needing to start or run the van to charge any batteries daily.

Any advice is appreciated!

As daunting as the electrical system can be I have found it to be pretty fun figuring out.
It is good to have a plan - really helps.

Just running some math here to help it gel in my mind - please bear with me:

1) Steamer cycle - assume is 120 vac
  • 10 minutes ~ 0.15 hrs
  • 10 amps -hrs @12 volts ~ 120 watt-hrs used in 0.15 hrs ~ 120 / 0.15 ~ 800 watt instapot?
So if you go down a LiFe battery path, then your numbers hold.

If you go down an AGM path and the battery bank is much smaller than 400 amp-hrs, then this load will use ~ 2x the battery capacity that you expect, so the numbers to use for "effective consumption" will be roughly 2X what you expect for the steamer and pressure cooker.

__

Refrigerator

For many van users, this represents the largest total power consumer. One of the reasons that they tend to use more power then expected is the van internal temperature. Especially in the summer, it is very difficult to have van internal air temperatures close to the numbers used in the testing (70 ish F).

If you really want to be sure that you won't run out of power, it might make sense to use (3) x (14.5 amp-hrs) instead of 14.5.

If you look at the numbers that faroutride has on their page, which match pretty well with what my customers have seen, the daily consumption in the summer can hit 75-100 amp-hrs per day ( 1 kW-hr) pretty fast.

____
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again for the insight, Orton you have some great information that I will be reviewing as I start my electrical build. I think lithium is the route I will end up down!
 

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If your goal is to have your "electrical system in a box", then here are some possibilities for you:


The 1x3 system can hold 2 or 4 size 27 AGM batteries or battle borns.

It can hold multiple chargers, 120 vac, battery to battery, solar - depending on exactly what you are after.

Yes, it is my company and my son and I build them.

It is all high end, commercial grade, nearly all USA made components. All of them can be obtained / replaced by the end user, unlike most commercial pre-made systems.

Feel free to use the ideas to build your own or we can help you. I don't worry too much about people trying to build their own because I have a pretty detailed parts spreadsheet and it isn't all that profitable.
 

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Thanks again for the insight, Orton you have some great information that I will be reviewing as I start my electrical build. I think lithium is the route I will end up down!
Li based batteries are great - if you live in an area where it doesn't really get very cold.

If the van is going to spend much time in an area that is below 20 F, then it might make sense to use AGM instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That is a great product you have going Harryn, I'm sure its worth every penny but I want to figure this out more or less on my own ha rather than a competed module. I've considered the Goal Zero and others alike but want to be able to manipulate the system if wanted.

Hein, thanks for that diagram, I have 20+ diagrams now to review and figure out what mine is going to look like.

The van is stored outside mostly all winter here in UT. (No need to travel to ski when its in our backyard) but that would be the benefit to having a diy box build is I could bring it inside where I know its not getting freezing cold.

At this point I think I just need to put the hammer on the nail! Ill be sure to keep the thread updated as I progress..



Thanks again.
 

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That is a great product you have going Harryn, I'm sure its worth every penny but I want to figure this out more or less on my own ha rather than a competed module. I've considered the Goal Zero and others alike but want to be able to manipulate the system if wanted.

Hein, thanks for that diagram, I have 20+ diagrams now to review and figure out what mine is going to look like.

The van is stored outside mostly all winter here in UT. (No need to travel to ski when its in our backyard) but that would be the benefit to having a diy box build is I could bring it inside where I know its not getting freezing cold.

At this point I think I just need to put the hammer on the nail! Ill be sure to keep the thread updated as I progress..



Thanks again.
Makes perfect sense to build your own for the experience and getting it exactly the way that you desire.

If it makes any difference to you, the 1x1 size has wheels and a handle - exactly the size of a full size suit case. Customizations are normal.

As far as bringing your system in from the cold - the good news is that most likely you won't have to do that until next winter as these things can take a while to pull off.

I know that you are trying to avoid putting solar panels on the roof, but they are really handy for keeping the fridge running for those times when the van is stationary.
 

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In case it is interesting to you, I decided to put 2 of our 1x1 CV systems up for a Thanksgiving weekend sale. (1x1 CV = 1 kW class conversion van drop in electrical system )

Once those 2 are sold or it is Tuesday morning, the sale will end.

 

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Thanks for responding to my post. BobATX that is an ideal set up that I am considering. Ideally I would like something that is movable. I plan to have my electrical system built into a box or something similar and have it nest just behind the 2nd row bench seat.

I have seen a slew of diagrams which are proving to be the best route to go in finding how my system will be.

Atonie, I appreciate your diagram as I have used some other useful links on your site.

I don't plan to run any solar as of right now so I will be running off either my alternator or battery to my house battery. Most likely my battery. In short, I plan to have my Dometic CFX 75 cooler/fridge running most if not all the time. I plan to run some puck lights in the headliner (6 lights in all), Maxx Air Fan, Laptops, phones and the like and the occasional Instant Pot meal.


Correct me if I am wrong here as for amp hours and useage.
Amp Hours/IntsantAmp Hours Daily
MaxxAir Fan4.5AH12AH- Summer Use
Dometic CFX 752-3AH14.61 amps consumed over a 24 hour period.
Device Charging2-5AH
Instnat Pot5-minute steamer cycle used 9.59 amp hours
30-minute pressure cooking cycle used 16.9 amp hours
A 4-hour slow cooker cycle used 24.5 amp hours
Interior Lights/Acegoo Recessed LED Lights 1-2AH

While everything is going to vary depending on conditions and how the day looks I want to plan accordingly and have the ability to run everything without an issue for a weekend/long weekend if needed.

Trying to decide between and AGM battery bank set up or Lithium set up. I know LI is going to prove to be a bit more sustainable in the end and is going to take less weigh but costs a bit more. Should I go with 2 100 AGM batteries or?? I plan to get a 1000W Pure Sine Inverter, is this big enough? Or should I go bigger? As well as the fuses box and circuit breakers, wiring and ect.

My main concern is making sure I have enough AH and power in a day and not needing to start or run the van to charge any batteries daily.

Any advice is appreciated!

As daunting as the electrical system can be I have found it to be pretty fun figuring out.
It is a pretty obvious answer to me - you need 3 100ah battleborn lifepo4 batteries, buy them directly for 850 each if you ask for it. The only real decision is do you want to get a 4th so you reallly never have to worry?

And never start the engine just to charge the batteries it's horribly inefficient. Just get a victron multiplus so you can accept shore power or generator power to charge them up. Solar plus alternator is good but not reliable enough without that third option.
 

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It is a pretty obvious answer to me - you need 3 100ah battleborn lifepo4 batteries, buy them directly for 850 each if you ask for it. The only real decision is do you want to get a 4th so you reallly never have to worry?

And never start the engine just to charge the batteries it's horribly inefficient. Just get a victron multiplus so you can accept shore power or generator power to charge them up. Solar plus alternator is good but not reliable enough without that third option.
Do not agree. I have a single 255 amp-hr 8D AGM and it never has been below 83% SOC. Perfect solution for my application in my climate.

What counts is to determine what power capacity is required for your use and design a system to match that need. We all have different requirements and climates.

Using the engine occasionally to charge the house battery is not horribly inefficient. I need to do that less than 6 times a year and that is better than hauling around a generator and gas and listening to the generator. Transit engine at idle is much quieter than a cheap generator.

My single 300 watt solar panel provides all the power I require 99% of the time.

I can charge the house battery 3 ways with each way being a correct 3 stage charge profile. Shore power, "shore power" from the vehicle powered inverter with engine running or from solar.

Not always a requirement to have a mobile electrical sub station in a conversion. Much higher cost, more space required and considerably heavier. Match the system to the need.
 

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Do not agree. I have a single 255 amp-hr 8D AGM and it never has been below 83% SOC. Perfect solution for my application in my climate.

What counts is to determine what power capacity is required for your use and design a system to match that need. We all have different requirements and climates.

Using the engine occasionally to charge the house battery is not horribly inefficient. I need to do that less than 6 times a year and that is better than hauling around a generator and gas and listening to the generator. Transit engine at idle is much quieter than a cheap generator.

My single 300 watt solar panel provides all the power I require 99% of the time.

I can charge the house battery 3 ways with each way being a correct 3 stage charge profile. Shore power, "shore power" from the vehicle powered inverter with engine running or from solar.

Not always a requirement to have a mobile electrical sub station in a conversion. Much higher cost, more space required and considerably heavier. Match the system to the need.
Your point of different climates having different requirements is taken otherwise your response was just a personal anecdote and not directed at the op's detailed info. You are doing your engine a major disservice when you idle it to charge those house batteries, I suggest stopping that immediately even if it means going below 50% soc and slightly damaging your batteries. Your engine is more important than that and if you're worried about off gassing you should have gotten lithium anyway. I disagree with designing a system to match needs that are usually unknown at the time. Overbuild it imo, especially the bank. Freedom is priceless.

PS thanks for the floor vent concept
 

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Your point of different climates having different requirements is taken otherwise your response was just a personal anecdote and not directed at the op's detailed info. You are doing your engine a major disservice when you idle it to charge those house batteries, I suggest stopping that immediately even if it means going below 50% soc and slightly damaging your batteries. Your engine is more important than that and if you're worried about off gassing you should have gotten lithium anyway. I disagree with designing a system to match needs that are usually unknown at the time. Overbuild it imo, especially the bank. Freedom is priceless.

PS thanks for the floor vent concept
Idling the engine is the same as being in traffic. Idling an engine for a couple hours a year for charging is not going to be a problem so we disagree.

AGM battery I have is already overkill for my application. Been using system for 5 years in sold Sprinter and 4 years in the Transit. I can assure you that the system is very functional for my use.
 
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